Three members of the MBS marketing team spent last week in Boston, MA attending one of the biggest marketing conventions in the country, which was hosted by HubSpot (the marketing software platform that we use.) They'll each be sharing their experiences from Inbound 2015, and talking about what they learned as well as how they plan to teach us how to apply that knowledge to help our partner stores grow. Our former Web Developer, Erica Martin, is starting us off with the first installment of our three-part series.
Do you Inbound?
This year Inbound brought together 14,000 like-minded marketers with the goal of inspiring them to create compelling content. Inspiration came in the form of daily keynote speakers such as Seth Godin, Brené Brown and Chelsea Clinton. Inspiration also manifested during breakout sessions presented by leaders in marketing, design and storytelling. And if somehow you weren't inspired by these fascinating guests, HubSpot went all out with their decor.
It also brought together a lot of people who love selfies and #hashtags.
I may not consider myself to be a marketer, but I think you're a marketer.
You market your store to students. You market textbooks to help them succeed and apparel to promote school pride. I'm a web developer, not a marketer, but that's OK because I don't need that label to be inspired to want to help build something that inspires you. (To be fair, the co-founder of HubSpot doesn't consider himself to be a marketer, either!)
— Dharmesh Shah (@dharmesh) September 9, 2015
While at Inbound, I attended sessions about social media, the psychology of content and design, how to unleash your creativity, and Seven Reasons Even Your Mom Would Ignore Your Email (one of my personal favorites!) My goal is to use this newfound knowledge to inspire my coworkers and in turn, inspire you. It's no secret that we market to your store, but that's because we truly want to provide you with great content you can use for your store and share with your coworkers.
One of my key takeaways from all of these sessions is that you have to be authentic.
I understand it's hard to be authentic when you're trying to sell something. Maybe you host a flash sale on spirit wear to drum-up excitement the week before the big game because you want your school's football team to win this Saturday just as much as your students do. Or you host an after hours in-store event to give all of those test-takers a break during finals week because you remember what it was like when you were in school. Either way, you want to show your customers you really do care even if your goal is to get them into your store. Another session I attended was The Neuroscience of Memorable Content, presented by Dr. Carmen Simon of REXI Media, which discussed how we should create content that connects with our audience, rather than simply blasting messages without meaning. How many times have you posted an update on your store's Facebook page that you thought was wickedly clever and would definitely make any millennial laugh, only to get one like from your mom? (At least she's looking at your posts, even if she's not reading your emails!) Students might have read it but they didn't connect with it. Just know we really do want to help you solve that problem.
So why did I attend the conference?
Four days, three keynote presentations and 15 sessions later, I still don't consider myself a marketer. But you are! And by working together, I know our team will continue to help your store get the most out of its marketing efforts no matter what you're promoting or how you're promoting it. We created Foreword Online to be a resource for you, not with the intent to increase the quantity of social shares. Our goal is similar to that of Inbound's: to help and inspire you.
And if you're still not inspired...
Then hopefully one of these 25 Powerful Quotes From #INBOUND15 Speakers will do the trick.